Magnes, Frances (1919—)

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Magnes, Frances (1919—)

American violinist who played with major orchestras throughout the world . Born Frances Shapiro in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 27, 1919.

Frances Magnes began lessons at age six with her grandfather, Herman Rosen. Musicians were the norm in Magnes' family; one of her ancestors had been a musician at the court of Nicholas II, tsar of Russia. Magnes was 14 when she made her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra under Artur Rodzinski. She became a member of the Busch Chamber Players, touring America with that group in 1945–46. She won great critical acclaim and went on to tour England, France, Israel, Canada, South America, and Europe. Magnes made recordings with Ernö Dohnányi and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Because of her interest in modern music, Magnes was the first to perform and record Stefan Wolpe's Violin Sonata (1949) and Tibor Serly's Sonata (1950); both works were also dedicated to her. In the 1960s, she increasingly appeared with the Westchester Symphony Orchestra where she was concertmaster. She taught as well.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia